> In my 33 years of teaching I have not met "mediocre" teachers. > Our mathematics educators are dedicated and anxious to help > their students.
Unfortunately, we have had different experiences. However, let me say at the outset I have NOT met mediocre people. However, I have met worse than mediocre math 'educators'. On the other hand, I guess it hasn't been unfortunate since I have had to reevaluate my own approach.
I sometime wince when my co-teachers (great people) discuss how much they love to teach mathematics and how 'easy' it is compared to other courses they teach (I teach in middle school and have some contact with elementary). By easy they often mean the kids just work through one worksheet after another. These are caring teachers, but they have been educated and have taught in a rather limited mathematical environment. Oh, there are courses offered by the local university to combat this (and I have met some awesome teachers), but a large percentage never find the time. These are super people, but, in my opinion, are mediocre math educators.
Then there are those who really don't care much. Oh, there are often 'good' reasons, but the kids are the ones that get cheated. The sad thing is that the situation wasn't always that way.
But perhaps this verbage is all meaningless. I am unsure about what you and Dan mean by mediocre. I think I prefer to let you folks do the definitions :). But I will stay tuned.